The first thing you’ll notice about this week’s this week’s books is that it is being published on Monday. I think Monday’s will be a better day for the feature. Next, you’ll notice that I’ve added a DVD and a video game to the list. Finally, you should notice that I haven’t reviewed any of the books on this site as of yet. I’m still working on the reading all of them and their reviews. This week I’m posting my review of The Hole in the Sky. As usual, the review will appear on Blogcritics first and then here.
Happy Reading, Watching and Playing!
I love to read and this week I’m reading quite a bit. I’m carrying over some books from last week and I’m adding some new ones.
I am a history buff, but admittedly, I haven’t been all that interested in the history of our founding fathers. My lack of knowledge and interest in the first days of this great country have changed with the reading of The Last Founding Father: James Monroe and a Nation’s Call to Greatness. In the first five pages, I learned more about our fifth President, James Monroe, than I had learned in twelve years of schooling. Mr. Unger presents President Monroe in a way that makes him more real and accessible than high school textbooks.
I read with absolute amazement at how difficult it was for our, then, little country to gain its footing. We didn’t pay our soldiers with any real currency, and we didn’t reward them for their service. I didn’t know that the first constitution of the the “Confederation Congress” had been thrown out, and it is our nation’s second Constitution that we have all come to know and love. The political infighting that happened at the beginning of our nation’s history rivals the infighting of today.
Mr. Unger has presented James Madison in the most human of ways from his pining for his wife and young daughter to his liquidating “the national debt of $67 million.” Monroe served his country well. He fought in the Revolutionary War, served as our minister to both France and Britain, and he served two terms as President. He was elected to his second by running nearly unopposed and receiving 231 of 235 electoral votes.
The Last Founding Father takes you on Monroe’s journey through our nation’s history and growth. With quotes from the most well known players in our nation’s history (Washington, Jefferson and Adams) and some lesser known, Monroe’s story fills out our history. Mr. Unger has completed a well written biography of a most deserving subject.
I will be re-launching SixBooks.net soon, but I was viewing the site and realized that it needs a complete overhaul. That is going to take a lot of man hours to get it right.
Until then, I’m starting a new feature here – What I’m Reading this Week. For most of the books listed, I will be posting reviews on Blogcritics.org and then it will post here. Some books I might just be reading for fun. Below, is this week’s list of books.
Happy Reading and God Bless!
Before I start this review, I should take a moment to say that I love Carl Reiner. I grew up watching re-runs of the Dick Van Dyke Show. I loved his Alan Brady. I can see an episode and tell you, this one, Mr. Reiner wrote. This is the man who turned George Burns into God and Steve Martin into a Jerk. The man is a comedic genius and I am his biggest fan.
Being his biggest fan, I jumped at the chance to review his new book Just Desserts. Then, the book came and in the PR document that accompanies the book, I see this line: “Noland appeared as a successful novelist in Reiner’s NNNN: A Novel, in 2006.” Oh, no. Now what do I do? I didn’t like NNNN: A Novel. In fact, even though I was listening to the MP3 version read by the author, I stilldidn’t like it. It was the first and only thing Mr. Reiner ever did that I didn’t like.
What’s a reviewer to do? What’s Carl Reiner’s biggest fan to do?
Give Nat Noland – the lead character in NNNN: A Novel – a second chance.
I have to tell you, I’m glad I did.
The entire premise of Just Desserts is what happens if you email God and He emails you back? What if you offered Him suggestions and He took them and put them to good use? What happens is that you and God work together to create a brand new world in a thought provoking and funny manner. Or, is it?
Mr. Reiner has written a book that will provoke thought, a self-discussion of faith and the sound of laughter from any reader. The book, actually, the novellelah, is a very quick and delightful read. You might even find it a little pithy.
If you found NNNN: A Novel to be a good book or if you like a little humor with your religion, I suggest that you read Just Desserts. You’ll be glad you did.
God Bless and Happy reading.
Tea Time for the Traditionally Built: The New No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency is the latest book in the No 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency. I love this series and have ever since I read the first book when it came out years ago. This new book is no exception. The conversations between characters, the descriptions of Botswana bring you into the lives of Precious Ramotswe, her husband – Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni – and her assistant, Mma Makutsi. The book is a quick read and will draw you in until you feel like sitting down and having a cup of Red Bush Tea.
I’ve mentioned Lewis Black in a previous post – look in the archives and you’ll find it.
Anyway, I’m reading his book Nothing Sacred. I have to tell you, it is good. At places, it is really, really funny, but more importantly, it is thought provoking. For example, on pages 10 and 11, he writes about playing war as a child. He ends this little look into his childhood by saying:
“It should be noted at this time not one of us ever had an interest in real guns or ever bought one. Then when it came to raising kids, my generation didn’t allow them to play with guns. That’s when things took an abrupt turn for the worse. I certainly wouldn’t say there is a connection, but it is strange that only a few kids play out these war fantasies in their backyards and yet there seems to be more violence among them.”
It made me stop and think for a moment. We are, certainly a much more violent society now than we were in the fifties and sixties. I don’t remember such violence encroaching on my childhood in the seventies.
So, my point is that you should read this book. I started it today at lunch and I’m almost done. It is a very quick read. And, if any of my family or friends are reading, my birthday is coming up and I would very much like an autograph copy of it. That would be a really cool gift for me.
You’ve got to see this guy. He’s really funny! Take the time to check out Mr. Black’s video “Black on Broadway”.